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Institutional visit to Vietnam by the Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, Hon. Francesco Lollobrigida (1-2 March 2024)

MARD 3

The Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry of the Italian Republic, Hon. Francesco Lollobrigida, arrived yesterday in Hanoi on an institutional visit at the invitation of the Vietnamese Government.

Minister Lollobrigida first met with the Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Le Minh Hoan. In the conversation with his counterpart, the Minister hoped for greater access of Italian agricultural products to the Vietnamese market, both in the framework of the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam and in the context of bilateral ongoing phytosanitary negotiations, whose further impetus will be welcome. He also underlined how Italy can constitute a useful and reliable partner for possible training and technical assistance programs for Vietnamese operators in the phytosanitary, circular economy, agricultural mechanization, sustainable management of fisheries and forestry fields. Finally, the Minister highlighted Italy’s role in addressing major global challenges such as food security and climate change. After the meeting, Minister Lollobrigida and Minister Le Minh Hoan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in the agri-food sector.

In the afternoon, Minister Lollobrigida first visited the photographic exhibition “Italian Rice – Underwater Farming” (currently exhibited at Casa Italia and which will remain open to the public until Thursday, March 14). The exhibition tells the story of rice farming in Italy while also highlighting the similarities with Vietnam in the cultivation of this very important cereal.

This was followed by a meeting with the President of the Commission for External Relations of the Vietnamese Communist Party, Le Hoai Trung, with whom Minister Lollobrigida discussed the centrality of scientific-technological cooperation for bilateral relations and Italy and Vietnam’s common commitment to promoting food security and the development of agro-industrial value chains.

Minister Lollobrigida finally met the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Pham Minh Chinh, with whom he recalled the importance of economic-commercial relations – also in the agri-food sector – between Italy and Vietnam and praised the work of agro-industrial Italian companies operating in Vietnam as well as the positive social and environmental impacts of their investments in the country. He also encouraged the policies undertaken by the Vietnamese Government concerning energy transition and food security, global challenges to which both countries dedicate the utmost attention.

The institutional program of the visit ended, yesterday evening, with a meeting with the Italian business community at the Ambassador’s Residence. During the event, Minister Lollobrigida awarded the Italian restaurateurs in Hanoi for their significant contribution to the promotion of Italian cuisine in the world, candidate to be UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage.